Forthcoming Legislation Calendar

Likely/ ActualDate

Recent and Forthcoming Developments

June 2012

Extra bank holiday to celebrate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. The late May bank holiday will be moved to Monday 4 June and an extra bank holiday added on Tuesday 5 June to form a long weekend of celebration. Further details can be found here.

October 2012Changes to national minimum wage (NMW) rates. The Low Pay commission has yet to set the 2012 NMW rates but has been asked to consider, among other things, youth employment (including those in apprenticeships and internships) and how businesses can be given greater clarity on future levels NMW (for example setting the NMW for two years). Further information can be found here.

 

5 October 2012Latest possible date for retirement under the statutory retirement procedure. If an employer allowed an employee to work beyond his or her intended day of retirement, the maximum extension possible allowed by the DRA provisions is six months.

 

In 2012?Other reforms announced by the Government in its response to the resolving workplace disputes consultation 'will be implemented when parliamentary time allows' these include:
  • allowing tribunals to levy financial penalties, payable to the Exchequer, on employers found to have breached employment rights where the employer's behaviour in committing the breach had 'aggravating features'
  • requiring all employment disputes to be offered Acas pre-claim conciliation before going to a tribunal

  • altering the default constitution of the EAT so that judges will always sit alone unless they direct that members should be involved
  • modifying the formulae for up-rating tribunal awards and redundancy payments to the nearest pound
In 2012Government intends to implement secondary legislation to amend the Working Time Regulations. The Government has consulted on proposed changes to the Working Time Regulations to take account of European Court of Justice case law that has established that workers unable to take their annual leave due to sickness absence or maternity or parental leave in the current leave year must be able to carry it forward into the following leave year. The consultation can be viewed here - the Government response is expected early in 2012.

 

In 2012?Tribunals to order equal pay audits. In its modern workplaces consultation the Government has proposed requiring employment tribunals to make employers found to have discriminated in contractual or non-contractual pay matters conduct a pay audit, unless the tribunal is satisfied it would not be productive to do so. The Government response to the consultation is expected early in 2012. The Government states that it intends to legislate on equal pay as soon as possible in this Parliament.

In 2012?Reform of sickness absence procedures? The Government has yet to respond to the recommendations of an independent review of the sickness absence system. The review recommends, among other things, the creation of an Independent Assessment Service (IAS) to provide an in-depth assessment of individuals' physical and/or mental function when they have been signed off work for four weeks. More information can be found here.

In 2012 The Government is likely to consult on other areas of employment law including:
  • the introduction of 'protected conversations' to allow employers to have frank discussions which would be inadmissible in tribunal proceedings
  • simplifying compromise agreements (renamed settlement agreements)
  • a new 'rapid resolution' scheme to deal with employment disputes without recourse to a tribunal
  • collective redundancy consultation (the Government has undertaken a call for evidence on this)
  • improving the operation of the TUPE regulations (the Government has undertaken a call for evidence on this), and
  • streamlining the regulatory regime for the recruitment sector.
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